Sanwo-Olu breaks silence on #EndSARS report, invites Falz, Mr. Macaroni for peace walk

The governor wants all residents to join hands and usher a regime of peace back to the metropolis.

Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu joins #EndSARS anti-police brutality protesters at the Lekki toll in October 2020 (Punch)

Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu says it is regrettable that the report of the Lagos State judicial panel of inquiry into police brutality and the Lekki tollgate shooting of October 20, 2020, has generated so much tension in the nation's commercial capital.

He also regrets that a leaked and unauthorized copy of the report has led to fierce, divisive debates in the mainstream and social media spaces.

The governor has extended a hand of friendship to rap artiste Falz, comedian Debo Adedayo aka Mr. Macaroni, #EndSARS activists and civil society organisations, whilst suing for peace.

The Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel submitted its report to Sanwo-Olu on November 15, 2021.

Among other findings, the panel indicted the military, the Lagos state government, the police and the Lekki Concession Company (LCC), while stating unequivocally that what transpired on the night of October 20, 2020 "was a massacre in context."

In his 'state of the State' address to Lagosians on Tuesday, November 30, Sanwo-Olu said: "We'll never shy away from making our case to you. We will release a white paper later today.

"To be a center of excellence, we must be a center of truth. To be a smart city, we must be a just one. To be a prosperous state, we must establish ourselves as a peaceful entity."

He added that leaders have a choice between "restoring a greater harmony or doing a greater harm. I choose harmony over harm."

"I'm sure no member of the panel can claim that the state government made any attempt to influence them throughout the duration of its sitting.

"It is however very regrettable that the panel's work and leakage of unauthorized version of the report has generated tension, reopening deep wounds.

"Going forward dear Lagosians, we shall facilitate better communication between our youths and the state security machinery to resolve issues before they become intractable.

"We will make it easier for our young people to initiate formal complaints of any human rights violations through our ministry of justice.

"Dear Lagosians, this month of December, I will be leading a walk of peace to herald the healing of our land.

"Let me therefore use this occasion to extend an open invitation to all of our youths, members of the diplomatic corps, civil society groups, students, gentlemen of the press, media and other stakeholders to join me.

"I will want Folarin Falana (popularly called Falz), I will want Debo Adedayo (Mr. Macaroni), activist lawyer Dele Farotimi, Temitope Majekodunmi, Segun Awosanya, legendary son of Fela (Seun) Kuti, Lagos Commissioner of Police, Commander of the RRS, to join me on this historic march for our dear Lagos.

"Nobody will build this city for us. No nation will build the state for us. Let us show the world who we are.

"No foreign media will negatively change our narrative. We are Lagosians, a people of great renown, driven by the irrepressible spirit of Lagos."

A white paper will be a summary of the state government's resolutions based off the submitted report.

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